Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Monday, February 23, 2015

Have Thomas bring 'round the carriage

Idalia carriage house (1869)
Another pleasant hour spent with Tom Cruickshank's Port Hope: A Treasury of Early Homes led me to exploring further this blue board and batten place I spotted on Dorset Street hill a couple of spring-times ago. As I wandered up the edge overlooking the lake, among the lilac trees blooming on the boulevard, I was drawn to this unique and well-preserved rural-feeling spot on a tall terraced property, among the serene and dignified cottages and boastful estates of this lovely part of town.

A bit of searching led me to buildingstories.co. Turns out this building was moved in 1975 to the site: I so admire and respect the preservation spirit that has within it the energy and vision to disassemble, move and rebuild a structure, as part of the drive to conserve it. This structure had lived and worked on the grounds of the famous Idalia; it served as the coach house.

The carriage house's cupola and the original hay doors (guessing they're in the gable end, which I didn't capture) are original design elements. The lovely curved verandah wasn't around at feeding time.

All along the watchtower - Idalia
According to Tom Cruickshank, the carriage house stood on six acres surrounding the exotic and picturesque Italianate villa built for Charles Seymour and his wife around 1869. I'm sure the house exists today, but it's hard to find. Here's the Street View view.

A photo post card found at the site of the Ontario Genealogy Historical Newspaper Collection - Port Hope, which I'm pretty sure they won't mind me using here, shows the picturesque balconies, towers and verandahs associated with the style. Like Bellevue, a similar Tuscan villa in Kingston, it's clad in stucco.

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